Sign in to comment!

Interviews

Liberals Play Race Card in Obama Birth Certificate Controversy

This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," April 28, 2011. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

Watch "The O'Reilly Factor" weeknights at 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. ET!

BILL O'REILLY, HOST: In the "Culture Warriors" segment tonight: There was deep anger on the left over the Donald Trump birther issue and other attacks on President Obama's background. Almost immediately, defenders of President Obama labeled the whole thing racist.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)

ED SCHULTZ, MSNBC HOST: This is what the Republican Party stands for though, racism. I think Donald Trump is a racist.

BOB SCHIEFFER, CBS NEWS: He said we need to look at his grades and see if he -- he was a good enough student to get into Harvard Law School. That's just code for saying he got into law school because he's black. This is an ugly strain of racism that's running through this whole thing.

JOY BEHAR, CO-HOST, "THE VIEW": It's very racist because, in other words, you say he couldn't get into Harvard on his own. He didn't write his book. He can't fathom that a black man could be that smart. That's what's behind this.

WHOOPI GOLDBERG, CO-HOST, "THE VIEW": Being black when you say, "You know this is racist," 9,000 people say, "Oh, no, you're just playing the race card." Well, you know what? I'm playing the damn card now.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have known for years that Donald Trump was a bully and a fool, but we've only recently learned he's also a racist.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I said over a year ago that this was going to be, this presidential race, Lawrence, was going to be the ugliest, the nastiest, the most divisive and the most racist, the most racist in the history of this republic.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

O'REILLY: Here now to analyze, the "Culture Warriors," Alicia Menendez in Washington. She's in for Gretchen Carlson. And here in the studio, Margaret Hoover. So, you heard that.

MARGARET HOOVER, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: You've put together a fabulous montage of the most predictable answer possible from the entire left.

O'REILLY: But let me tell you, we could have gone five minutes with it.

HOOVER: That's exactly what I was saying. So unbelievably predictable. This is a reflex of the left whenever anything goes wrong that's absolutely at all related to race, they play the race card. They say you're outright racist. Here's the reality. We are so far from that point in our history in the 1960s. Past Martin Luther King Jr., past the civil rights movement, past the really ugly, evil racism of the Bull Connor era. That is not the America we live in today.

O'REILLY: So you don't believe there's any validity in any of those people?

HOOVER: However, I do think that when Donald Trump says, "This guy had to get into Harvard anyway," and he's hinting towards affirmative action, and when there is a widespread movement to delegitimize the president to say he's not American enough, I think it's not unrelated to race.

O'REILLY: There's a difference between -- there's a difference between -- wait a minute. Wait, wait, wait. There's a difference between raising questions about how he advanced in his academic life and calling him out on his skin color. I think there's a difference there.

HOOVER: I think there's a difference, but I think it's a subtle one. And I think it does hint at affirmative action, which is a racial issue.

O'REILLY: Well, if it is affirmative action, so what? We have affirmative action in this country.

HOOVER: Is he then stoking some sort of discomfort that people have with his skin color? That's the question.

O'REILLY: I mean, I have known Trump for 25 years. I don't think he stokes anything. He just says it flat out. All right. How do you see it, Alicia?

ALICIA MENENDEZ, SENIOR ADVISER AT NDN, A PROGRESSIVE THINK TANK: Well, I've got to say, I agree with Margaret Hoover. I think that analysis is dead-on. And I think this is a problem. There are big conversations we need to be having about the fact that there are so many racial tensions and anxieties in this country.

O'REILLY: Well, let me stop you there.

MENENDEZ: When you start calling people racist...

O'REILLY: Let me stop you there. I don't see all of these racial confrontations in this country, and I do this every day. What I see is Barack Obama elected president with 43 percent of the white vote. He got something like 67 percent of the Hispanic vote. I don't see it. And unless you can show it to me, Alicia...

MENENDEZ: But I'm not saying it's just about Barack Obama. I'm saying it's generally about people trying to figure out what to do with this change in America.

O'REILLY: But look -- look -- you heard those sound-bites from those people. Do you think those sound-bites have any validity?

MENENDEZ: I think, as Margaret said, that there is some intertwining here. But I think that those comments, which sound very radical, obscure the conversation that we actually need to be having.

O'REILLY: Well, they may obscure it, but I think there's another -- look, wouldn't you both agree that calling somebody a racist, anybody, without proof beyond a reasonable doubt is a vicious, hateful thing to do? Would you agree?

MENENDEZ: As vicious as suggesting that the president of the United States is not a real American.

O'REILLY: No, no, no. Just answer my question, Alicia. Calling somebody a racist without proof beyond a reasonable doubt, a vicious, hateful thing, yes or no?

MENENDEZ: I agree.

O'REILLY: OK, you agree.

MENENDEZ: I think that part of the reason you see that rhetoric...

O'REILLY: Now we have a cadre of people on national television doing a vicious, hateful thing. Yet...

MENENDEZ: But Bill, they're doing it in response to what was a vicious and hateful thing coming out of the right. And there were very few people like you who are being honest and calling it what it was.

O'REILLY: No. 1, you don't commit bad behavior and point to other bad behavior. And what came out of the right -- that's true, Alicia. Write it down. Don't justify bad behavior by pointing to other. Wait a minute. And the second thing is what came out of the right and was absolutely blown apart on this broadcast was the birth certificate might be phony. I didn't think that had any racial overtone at all. It was a birth certificate deal.

MENENDEZ: So you think -- you think it's just coincidental that the first president to have this type of public questioning of his land of origin of being a real American happens to be our first black president? That's just a weird coincidence?

O'REILLY: It's born out of hatred for the man. They'll get -- the people who hate Barack Obama will latch onto anything.

MENENDEZ: I agree. And you don't believe that a small fraction, a tiny bit...

O'REILLY: It's not because of his skin color. It's because of his policies.

MENENDEZ: I don't think that. And I think when you look at polling that's been done on this, it bears out that there are a lot of people who have anxiety around the fact that he is different. And I think...

O'REILLY: I don't -- I don't think it's a hate black thing. Let me give Margaret the last word. Go.

HOOVER: These people who are calling everybody -- racism, you're right. It's an unflattering and a divisive thing and hateful.

O'REILLY: Hateful, not unflattering. Hateful.

HOOVER: Hateful thing to say, and I agree with you. But Alicia is right. Politics follows the lines of physics. Every action creates an equal and opposite reaction. And what's happened here is the left has reacted to -- the far left has reacted to something very, very ugly from the far right.

O'REILLY: OK. But they can react -- they can react...

HOOVER: And there are reasonable people like us in the middle.

O'REILLY: They can react in a responsible way, as we did. We just took it apart. All right, ladies, thanks very much. We appreciate it.

Content and Programming Copyright 2011 Fox News Network, Inc. Copyright 2011 Roll Call, Inc. All materials herein are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Roll Call. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content.